WWF launches efforts to counter wildlife trade on Wildlife Conservation Day
The global network is not only against illicit and brutal trade in wildlife but also against poachers’ attacks on wildlife rangers as retaliation for widespread crackdowns on poaching. Local people who depend on wildlife for tourism have also been harmed economically by poachers who stripped them of their livelihood. In addition, human health has been endangered by unregulated trade in wild animals that can spread and pass on viruses and diseases such as SARS and Avian Influenza. Most importantly, organized crime in many regions also stands to benefit from illegal wildlife trade’s profits which further fuel the region’s volatility.
According to WWF reports, there has been a 3,000 percent increase in rhino poaching in South Africa during 2007-2011. In Asia, 8 tons of rhino horn stockpiles have been reported in a number of markets. And there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild, due to burgeoning illegal wildlife trade. Every part of the tiger—from whisker to tail—is traded in illegal wildlife markets.
WWF Thailand is actively campaigning against the trade of wildlife animals and products which include elephant ivory. WWF is calling on all sectors and the general public to urge the government to enforce laws that meet international conservation obligations and protect wildlife habitat, particularly that of elephants – Thailand’s national symbol. Consumers are being urged to refrain from purchasing or distributing products made from endangered species.
As Thailand is set to host the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) during March 3-15, 2013, the country, as party member, needs to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of any species.